Friday, June 15, 2012

Introducing My First Home-made Pasta – Brown Butter and Garlic Gnocchi

I am a big fan of all types of pastas but one particular variety that caught my fancy a few years ago was the gnocchi (pronounced nyoki). About two years ago, Gomathi and I were out exploring an Egyptian museum in San Jose, and by around 1 pm we were so hungry that we had to take a break from our tour. The hunger pangs came on strongly because we had set our sights on an Italian restaurant right outside the museum :-).
Luckily, the museum allowed multiple re-entries with one ticket, so we hurried out to fill our growling stomachs. The menu was enticing and I finally decided on a gnocchi dish and Gomathi ordered spaghetti. As we finished our starter of bread with a side of olive oil and vinegar, our pastas arrived. The gnocchi with basil pesto, topped with Parmesan cheese was so aromatic and inviting that all it took was one bite and I was hooked.
Ingredients
Mashed potato – 2 cups
All purpose flour – ¾ cup + more for dusting
Egg – 1
Butter – 3 tbsps
Finely minced garlic – 1 tbsp
Fresh or dry herbs for flavor – 2 tsps (I used dried basil and oregano)
Water for cooking the pasta
Salt to taste
Method
Cook the potato (with skin) until tender. I used a pressure cooker and found it easier than cooking it in an open pot. Remove the skin, and mash well, leaving no lumps. All the recipes I saw recommended using a ricer; I do not have one so I settled for a fork. It worked well enough.
Spread out the mashed potatoes on a plate and allow them to cool completely. Take a wide mouthed bowl, add the potatoes. Make a well in the middle, add the egg and little bit of the flour. Mix the ingredients together, adding the flour at intervals. This dough does not need too much kneading, it just has to come together well. Keep adding the flour until the dough is no longer sticky Place a 3 quart sauce pan with water on the stove, bring it to a boil and keep it ready for the pasta. Season the water with salt to taste.
The remaining process is shown in the following videos.

video
video
video
Once the pasta has been shaped, drop them into the boiling water. As they start cooking, the gnocchi will start floating and once all of them are on the surface, remove onto a platter.
Heat the butter on medium heat till it turns slightly brown (about 2-3 minutes); add the minced garlic and herbs (fresh). Add the gnocchi and toss until it is completely covered with the butter. Add the herbs (dry), toss well and serve. Buon Appetito.
Note - Using a food processor is not recommended for kneading as it will make the potatoes gummy.
     You can cut the pasta into smaller pieces for smaller gnocchi. 

19 comments:

  1. wow.. these surely looks worth the efforts and a try.
    Love Ash.

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  2. Hey Ash, thanks. It is actually not that tough, you should try it.

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  3. It's so cool that you took videos of it! and i think its great that you made your own pasta! i have only tried making lasagna sheets before and they turned great. so i'm waiting to try more stuff now! :D

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  4. Thanks Non stick, Nutty, Sous Chef. It was super rewarding to make my own pasta, never done it before :-). You should try it, it was super easy.

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  5. I really appreciate all the efforts you have put for making this recipes..really looks good:)

    http://indiantastyfoodrecipes.blogspot.com

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  6. pasta from scratch is a worthy effort and kudos for that; nice blend of flavours !

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  7. Thanks Priya :-). It was a fun process!

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  8. Gnocchi is something I totally love. A little truffle and lots of olive oil and some parmesan cheese... yummy! I'm going to try your recipe soon

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  9. looks lovely and delicious...mouthwatering!

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  10. Thakns Kalyan and Ruchira :-).

    Ruchira, you should try this, I am sure you will like it.

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  11. Ruchira, do let me know how you like it :-)

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